Another Michael Yates interview

Craven, Jim jcraven at
Wed Aug 13 17:40:06 MDT 2003

-----Original Message-----
From: David Siar [mailto:dsiar at]
Sent: Wednesday, August 13, 2003 4:35 PM
To: marxism at
Subject: Re: Another Michael Yates interview

Those who are interested in Michael Yates' work might wish to take a look at
a couple of pieces by him that _Cultural Logic_ has published.  One is an
excerpt from his in-progress autobiography:

and the other is an essay on radical labor education:

David Siar

Response (Jim C) Michael and I had lunch and beers on the Columbia river
recently and it was a pure pleasure to see the breath and depth not only of
his considerable knowledge in radical political economy but also of his
commitment to the liberation of all oppressed peoples without any ranking of
those more worthy of consideration or notice than others.

I urge all to read his new book briefly reviewed previously and reproduced

Jim C.

"Naming the System: Inequality and Work in the Global Economy" by Michael
Yates, Monthly Review Press, N.Y. 2003

Just received and dived into Michael Yates new book "Naming the System:
Inequality and Work in the New Global Economy." The first and very striking
feature of this book is at last someone is writing about workers, the
changing nature of "work" and changing situations of workers in the global
economy, the overall and changing structure of the global economy,
globalization, capitalism and inequalities, neoclassical economics versus
radical economics, the empty promises/rhetoric of neoliberalism and other
topics in language and syntax that the typical workers can well understand
and yet with such precision and erudition that professional economists and
non-economists can also learn a great deal. And a second element is that
this book is not simply some arcane scholarly tome designed to add another
notch to a CV but rather suggests some concrete avenues and venues and
resources for concrete radical action.

In all cases, whether talking about wealth/income inequalities (domestic and
global), unemployment and underemployment, bad jobs/low pay/overwork,
neoclassical/neoliberal dogma and prescriptions, indigenous Peoples and
conditions of life, capitalist contradictions, or fighting for a better
world, the fundamental threatening conditions and trends flow from the inner
"logic", defining features and core "imperatives" of capitalist
production/distribution and expanded reproduction--that can never be
ameliorated or eliminated through neoclassical/neoliberal paradigms or
reformist programs of pseudo-action.

This is an important contribution to radical theory and discourse that
should be read by all. For me it is also an inspiration for how to write
with audience awareness in mind: someone writing about work and workers who
understands and relates intimately in popular language yet without
sacrificing real substance and content that can be appreciated by scholars,
activists and yes, most especially, those who are being written about.

Jim C.

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